American cuts 3 routes, adds key transborder flight
The world's largest airline is getting a bit smaller with three notable route cuts.
American Airlines filed plans earlier this week to drop service between Boston and Toronto, Chicago and San Jose, Costa Rica, and Philadelphia and Akron, Ohio, as first seen in Cirium schedules and later confirmed by a carrier spokesperson.
While American will continue serving all three destinations from other hub airports, the removal of these routes is interesting for a few reasons.
First, the Boston-to-Toronto flight was added back in April 2021, a key market launched as part of the Northeast Alliance with JetBlue. At the time, the airline hoped to use the transborder service to connect flyers to JetBlue's extensive network from Boston. It would allow American to expand internationally from Boston and give JetBlue additional feed in this key focus city.
While it seemed like a win-win on paper, the route's performance seemingly fell short of American's projections, and it'll be cut as of Jan. 9, 2023.
But, American isn't entirely giving up on this strategy of using a short transborder route in the Northeast to connect to a broader network. On Jan. 10, 2023 — just one day after the Boston flight ends — American will launch service between New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Toronto's Pearson Airport (YYZ) with twice-daily flights.
The service will be operated by American Eagle affiliate Republic Airways onboard a 76-seat Embraer E175 regional aircraft.
American previously served this route back in December 2019, and now it's coming back just a few hours after the Boston flight ends. The carrier seems to think it'll have better luck connecting New York with Toronto. After all, American offers a more robust network from JFK, and it can also tap into JetBlue's big operation there, too.
In terms of competition, American will go up against both Delta and newcomer Flair Airlines for the JFK to Toronto flights.
Elsewhere, American is cutting another new route that it started during the pandemic. In August 2021, the carrier filed plans to add new flights to the two largest airports in Costa Rica: San Jose (SJO) and Liberia (LIR). By flying both to the capital and to Liberia on the west coast, American could offer travelers a comprehensive schedule for exploring this popular Central American country.
While the airline moved forward with launching both routes, only one is coming back for another season. The Liberia route will resume in January with once-weekly service, and American will no longer fly between Chicago and San Jose. The airline had originally planned to restart seasonal flights on this route in March 2023.
"We will continue to offer service to San Jose, Costa Rica from our hubs in Charlotte, Dallas-Fort Worth and Miami," a carrier spokesperson shared in a statement. United Airlines, which also operates a hub in Chicago, will continue serving the San Jose route with once-weekly service.
Finally, American had planned to restart flying between Philadelphia and Akron next April with twice-daily seasonal service. That'll no longer happen, and the route will instead be cut from the airline's network. Historically, American has flown year-round between these two cities, so the airline seemingly doesn't anticipate enough demand to warrant flying the route any longer.
When American pulls out of the market, no other airline will offer nonstop service between Philadelphia and Akron, though the carrier will still fly to Charlotte and Washington Regan National from the Ohio airport.